rob walker found his interest in poetry reawakened when he was in his 40s. He began publishing work on fledgling internet sites before joining Friendly Street around 2003. His first collection sparrow in an airport was published as part of Friendly Street’s New Poets Ten (2005), followed by micromacro (Seaview Press, 2006) and phobiaphobia (Picaro Press, 2007.) With Louise Nicholas he edited Friendly Street THIRTY in 2006. He collaborated with his sons Matt and Ben to win the 2007 & 2009 Newcastle Poetry Prize (New Media.)
Having always been fascinated by language in its many forms, between his time as an educator in Performing Arts around Adelaide and teaching English to highschool students and adults in Japan, rob has also found time to write a children’s musical, essays, short stories, poetry reviews, co-edit a poetry anthology and produce five poetry books. With hundreds of poems being published online and in journals and anthologies in the UK, US (including 4&20, The Cortland Review, Illya’s Honey, Poetry Magazine and Red River Review) and Australia (including Best Australian Poems, Australian Poetry Journal, Verity La, foam:e, Quadrant, Transnational Literature, Rabbit Journal, Cordite, Mascara, blue pepper, 21D and Unusual Work), rob also enjoys collaborating with other artists (eg Max- Mo, Zephyr Quartet and ccmixter.org.) His latest poetry collection tropeland (Five Islands Press) will soon be followed by Policies & Procedures (Garron Press) and a collection with Ginninderra Press in early 2016.
When he’s not writing rob enjoys playing the shakuhachi and guitar, listening to jazz, producing (and drinking) his own cabernet sauvignon and playing with his grandchildren (not necessarily in that order.)
a year later taking eucalypt
honey from neglected hives.
open the lid a slit.
puff the smoke.
convent’s drone rises a semitone.
then the lid comes away
by Divine Light.
a musty fustiness reaching
nostrils and i am back
in tufa tunnels at san sebastiano.
bees withdraw to their own
tunnels, body-sized cavities
mystical waxy structures
exuded from their flesh
sculpted by their own mouths
meted out with wingspan precision
unseen micrometers of architects engineers
and as I carefully inspect
shake off each frame my mind is
buzzing with vespas, fiat bambini,
smartcars droning on basalt cobbles
on the Via Appia Antica
of a warm spring day
and we withdraw to cool
tunnels of Death on the other
side of the styx amongst
mortal remains of
christians and jews
united/interred in death
outside the ancient Aurelian city
walls passed on the 218 bus
from piazza san giovanni in
laterano guided unerringly
through labyrinths like Theseus
this contemporary Ariadne’s thread
a masterplan knowledge
of Fixed Action Patterns
inside her head,
a dance of bees.
later spinning frames
in the laundry i watch close as a
lone hatching bee chews the seal
off its own mausoleum emerging
to a world of light devoid
of her congregation of sisters
wondering perhaps am i
in Purgatorio Inferno or Paradiso?
From micromacro, Seaview Press, 2006
as he wakes
the baboushkas reassemble themselves. a frightened little boy at the core climbs
into the teenager with the painted-on angry face and permanent hard-on.
crawling into the ideals of some young teacher. each clothes himself
in another bodycasing, chrysalis reversed, until the final,
an ordinary middleaged man blinks,
wondering which if any
of the selves within
From phobiaphobia, Picaro Press, 2007
V. Norfolk Island Pine
in the Pacific your point of origin
a speck of pollen
but a diaspora delivered you
to every beach resort
your trunk adolescent slim-muscled,
smoothskinned with occasional
acne and zits
your substitute leaves
of baby claws,
stockwhips for the kiddies.
there’s surfwax oozing from your pores
yet the swell keeps slipping away
from your toes
You reach for the sky
you organic pyramid
and I’ll sit in your shade licking
a pine-lime Splice, our backs together, staring out towards the horizon.
from the suite ‘Araucarias of Gondwana. Tree dinosaurs.’
in tropeland, Five Islands Press, 2015